Ethnic traditions

Despite the bitter frost and coronavirus. Russians met Epiphany with traditional swimming in an ice-hole – video

The day before, on January 18, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow celebrated the Liturgy and blessed the water.

On the night of January 18-19, the Russians celebrated an Orthodox holiday – Epiphany and the believers bathed in ice-holes, despite the abnormal frosts that covered many regions of the and including the capital. In Moscow, for example, the air temperature dropped to minus 23 degrees. Some regions have canceled traditional bathing because of the coronavirus, but most officials organised special fonts, near which doctors, rescuers and police were on duty. In the Moscow region, about 220 ice holes were equipped and entrances to them with convenient parking, TASS reports.

On the eve of Patriarch Kirill celebrated the Liturgy and the rite of the great consecration of water in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Epiphany Eve. Orthodox Christians not only plunged into the font, but also collected much blessed water with them. Videos from different cities of Russia appeared on social networks, believers made the sign of the cross and plunged into an ice hole, congratulated each other on the holiday and wished everyone health. The fonts in the Istra river near Moscow were highlighted in different colors; in some places the organizers installed ice crosses. Bathing places were equipped both in natural reservoirs and artificially. Thus, in St. Petersburg, Orthodox Christians plunged into the waters of the Neva, in the Murmansk region – into the White Sea.

In Sevastopol, bathing was organised near the ruins of Tauric Chersonesos, where it is believed that Prince Vladimir was baptised, canonised. And in Dolgoprudny, near Moscow, special artificial fonts were installed for those wishing to swim. Source

An Orthodox believer bathes in cold water during Epiphany celebrations in Kiev, Ukraine, 19 January 2021. During Epiphany, some people believe that the waters have special curative properties and can be used to treat various illnesses, and many of them take icy baths as part of its celebration. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
On Epiphany, water is consecrated in natural reservoirs, for which an ice-hole in the shape of a cross is cut (Photo: Varvinsky RS Directorate of the State Social Security Service of Ukraine in the Chernihiv region / facebook)

Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany, the city of St. Petersburg video

Orthodox Christians celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, Istra River, near Moscow

Liturgy in the Moscow Church, Video on Facebook

Liturgy in Transfiguration Cathedral, Dnipro, Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in Epiphany bathing in an ice-hole in the Moscow region, the Kremlin press service reports.

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